Cumbria Crack

Wallis and Steevens steam into Carlisle

[O]n Monday 18th September it will be full steam ahead when two very high quality and rare scale model steam traction engines go under the hammer at H&H Auction Room’s weekly sale. The first is a fantastic scale model of the road roller ‘Simplicity’, with maker’s plate, of the renowned 19th century agricultural machinery manufactured by Wallis & Steevens Ltd. The second is a Graham & Son of Carlisle plated traction engine. As both of models are relatively rare and both have tremendous detail with every tap and thread in good working order, it is expected that they will be keenly sought after by enthusiasts.

The 3” scale model of ‘Simplicity’ is based on a steam powered road roller with inclined boiler by Wallis and Steevens of Basingstoke England.  This model is expected to be of particular interest because it has its own pressure test certificate, something which is necessary for anyone wishing to use it for demonstrations at local shows and specialist events.  As such it is anticipated to sell for up to £2000.   The traction engine has the name plate of ‘Chuff’ and a plate on the smoke box of Graham and Son – Carlisle. In exceptional condition it is expected to sell for in the region of £1000.

Giving background, Stephen Farthing, Auction Room Manager, tells us the story of the sale. “Having had to wind up his brother’s estate, a local gentleman called us not knowing quite what to do with his brother’s model steam traction engines.  After a quick house call we confirmed that that they were collectable and had value.  These two model engines will be familiar to many enthusiasts as they were often seen on the show circuits across the North of England and Scottish Borders.”

H&H Auction Rooms have sold models in various shapes and sizes over the years and they always attract a strong following, as people are keen to have their own to showcase. The engines being sold next week have been on display recently in Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway Auction site and they have both caused quite a stir.

Continuing along the same theme, and also included in this sale, is a Border Fine Arts Steam Roller ornament, along with other large limited-edition Border Fine Art pieces.  Like the demise of steam, since the demise of Border Fine Arts production here in the UK, there has been an increasing demand for these ornaments, especially for the more rare items.

H&H Auction Rooms is one of the longest established auction houses in the North of England and holds a weekly sale of antiques and house furnishings. Anyone interested in receiving further information about these items can contact Stephen Farthing on 01228 406320 or visit

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